The pollen of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) is a strong allergen and causes severe pollinosis in Malaysia and Singapore. In the previous study (Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem., 64, 820-827 (2002)), from the oil palm pollens, we purified an antigenic glycoprotein (Ela g Bd 31 K), which is recognized by IgE from palm pollinosis patients. In this report, we describe the structural analysis of sugar chains linked to palm pollen glycoproteins to confirm the ubiquitous occurrence of antigenic N-glycans in the allergenic pollen. N-Glycans liberated from the pollen glycoprotein mixture by hydrazinolysis were labeled with 2-aminopyridine followed by purification with a combination of size-fractionation HPLC and reversed-phase HPLC. The structures of the PA-sugar chains were analyzed by a combination of two-dimensional sugar chain mapping, electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), and tandem MS analysis, as well as exoglycosidase digestions. The antigenic N-glycan bearing alpha1-3 fucose and/or beta1-2 xylose residues accounts for 36.9% of total N-glycans: GlcNAc2Man3Xyl1Fuc1GlcNAc2 (24.6%), GlcNAc2Man3Xyl1GlcNAc2 (4.4%), Man3Xyl1Fuc1-GlcNAc2 (1.1%), GlcNAc1Man3Xyl1Fuc1GlcNAc2 (5.6%), and GlcNAc1Man3Xyl1GlcNAc2 (1.2%). The remaining 63.1% of the total N-glycans belong to the high-mannose type structure: Man9GlcNAc2 (5.8%), Man8GlcNAc2 (32.1%), Man7GlcNAc2 (19.9%), Man6GlcNAc2 (5.3%).
Hev b 4 is an allergenic natural rubber latex (NRL) protein complex that is reactive in skin prick tests and in vitro immunoassays. On SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), Hev b 4 is discerned predominantly at 53-55 kDa together with a 57 kDa minor component previously identified as a cyanogenic glucosidase. Of the 13 NRL allergens recognized by the International Union of Immunological Societies, the 53-55 kDa Hev b 4 major protein is the only candidate that lacks complete cDNA and protein sequence information.
We sought to clone the transcript encoding the Hev b 4 major protein, and characterize the native protein and its recombinant form in relation to IgE binding.
The 5'/3' rapid amplification of cDNA ends method was employed to obtain the complete cDNA of the Hev b 4 major protein. A recombinant form of the protein was over-expressed in Escherichia coli. The native Hev b 4 major protein was deglycosylated by trifluoromethane sulphonic acid. Western immunoblots of the native, deglycosylated and recombinant proteins were performed using both polyclonal antibodies and sera from latex-allergic patients.
The cDNA encoding the Hev b 4 major protein was cloned. Its open reading frame matched lecithinases in the conserved domain database and contained 10 predicted glycosylation sites. Detection of glycans on the Hev b 4 lecithinase homologue confirmed it to be a glycoprotein. The deglycosylated lecithinase homologue was discerned at 40 kDa on SDS-PAGE, this being comparable to the 38.53 kDa mass predicted by its cDNA. Deglycosylation of the lecithinase homologue resulted in the loss of IgE recognition, although reactivity to polyclonal rabbit anti-Hev b 4 was retained. IgE from latex-allergic patients also failed to recognize the non-glycosylated E. coli recombinant lecithinase homologue.
The IgE epitopes of the Hev b 4 lecithinase homologue reside mainly in its carbohydrate moiety, which also account for the discrepancy between the observed molecular weight of the protein and the value calculated from its cDNA.